Big noise in the North

Big noise in the North

Sunderland will be bold as brass next weekend, Friday 6 March to Sunday 8 March, when the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival returns to the city for its 12th successive year.

This year the festival is bigger and better than ever, with 27 big bands from all over the UK converging on North Shore at the University of Sunderland’s riverside campus.

Festival Director Bill Watson, who was a judge on recent BBC1 show Frank Sinatra: Our Way, says, “The festival has grown and become so well known and popular that we are scarcely able to accommodate all the bands who want to take part.  It is a nice problem to have, and we have managed to fit them all in – just!”

The opening concert, at 8pm on Friday 6 March, will feature UK Paul Jones/Mick Donnelly Quintet, the Festival Big Band performing new numbers by young jazz composers, and a big band from Altringham Boys Grammar School in Cheshire who are making their first festival appearance.

The festival will continue on Saturday with the Open Section (9 senior bands) who will be on stage throughout the afternoon from midday – with three of the winning bands performing in concert from 6.30pm.

On Sunday 8 March the festival will continue from 10am with some of the best school bands in the country. The winning band will perform with adjudicators Paul Jones and Mick Donnelly.  The festival will conclude with the Youth Section in which 10 bands will be on stage throughout the afternoon and early evening from 2pm.

Tickets to the festival cost £8 and are available at the door throughout the weekend - under 16’s go free.

Find out more about Great North Big Band Jazz Festival.

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Mowbray Park in Sunderland city centre is one of the oldest parks in the North East. Restored to its former Victorian splendour, it has an intriguing array of art works.

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